“This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’” This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”” Mark 1:1-8, NLT
In the passage, above, we read the narration on the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ: the sent One, the Saviour of the whole world.
He had come, solely, to die for the sin(s) that He did not commit. Instead, borne out of compassion, He gave Himself (up) to be reviled, blasphemed, and killed (by crucifixion) – all because, He loves humanity and wanted to restore a broken relationship between God and the creation.
Hence, Jesus came into the world, preaching the gospel.
Jesus’ life is the gospel that we preach
The book of Isaiah 11 painted a picture of a reformation that the coming of Jesus Christ would usher into the world – peace, undiluted. Although, this is still in process (we are, already enjoying that peace, partially), there will, however, be an ultimate peace in all the earth by the time that Jesus comes back the second time – read the entire book of Revelations for deeper knowledge.
Along the line, the Bible says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man”. Luke 2:52, KJV
At the age of 30, He started his ministry – healing the sick, opening blind eyes, the cripples were made whole, issue of blood was cured, dead people were brought back to life, demons cried out and were cast out of people, and most precious of them all – many souls were saved into the Kingdom of God.
The gospel was brought to bear by Jesus’ teachings and exemplary life. Thus, when we preach the gospel to anyone, we preach the teachings of the gospel; we preach Christ crucified and resurrected, who has (now) ascended into the heavens, sitting at the right hand of God – making intercessions for us.
What is the gospel truth
Simply, the gospel truth is that ‘Jesus is the Son of God, born of a woman, He was crucified and rose again: now in the heavens, at the right hand of God, and whoever believes in Him shall be saved’. Matthew 1:18-21.
His coming into the world was to die for everyone, both old and the yet to be born children: He has redeemed mankind from the effect of sin, but (only) those that accept Him will have access to this redemption – bought with His blood.
How, why do we need to defend the gospel truth?
On how we should defend the gospel, a clue should be taken from Isaiah 11 where the Bible says, “And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment”. Isaiah 11:2-5, NLT.
We can, only, effectively defend the truth of the gospel by letting the Holy Spirit help us to tailor our lives after the attributes of Christ in this passage, above, so that we will not take to arms and ammunitions because we want to defend the gospel, by all means.
Then, why should anyone (ever) think of defending the gospel? As if God cannot defend Himself.
When we talk about defending the gospel, it is not in the manner of one having a standoff with another person who has decided to attack what Christianity preaches.
Rather, it is the in manner of letting our lives be the reflection of Christ, by which, when we are cheated, reviled, downgraded or deliberately not recognised (when we should), we will not count it to people’s charges. We will let the love of Christ fill our hearts so that we could overcome evil with good.
It is that simple, it does not call for taking up arms against anyone: it does not require physical struggle – it, only, requires that we let the Holy Spirit live out (in us) the life of Christ that will transform generations present and the ones to come.